21 February 2007

Thoughts on Criticism of the Climate Movement

I think it is important to have discussions about what is going on...but I also think it is important to take action. It is counter productive to criticize one persons/groups effort without suggesting more beneficial uses of our or your energy. There is nothing to lose in what we are doing and everything to gain! As far as facts about climate change- You are correct that GHG's account for a very small amount of the total volume of the atmosphere, but very small amounts have a VERY large effect. It is not only the GHG that are heating...it is the blanketing effect that the small amount of GHG's have on the entire atmospheric system. "The Earth's atmosphere is made up of 78 per cent nitrogen and 21 per cent oxygen. Only about 1 per cent is made up of natural greenhouse gases, but this comparatively small amount of gas makes a big difference." from http://www.science.org.au/
.As far as hurricanes- the climate system is very complicated. It is difficult to make direct connections in the causal chain. We cannot make a conclusive statement that “this (GHG) caused that (Hurricane Katrina)” but hurricane Katrina does serve as a tangible and powerful example of the effects we know will be magnified and more frequent if aggressive mitigation does not occur. It is not worth playing Russian Rolette with the planet…So we are taking action NOW. ...

The human body is a great analogy for the earth-THE EARTH WILL ADAPT TO THIS! The catch is that one way the earth might adapt is to get rid of these pesky humans. Yet, as we go down, we are taking all other living organisms with us- Not Good. When people argue that the planet has gone through hot and cold ages in the past, they forget (I can't imagine how!) that humans where not there to see it. The reason that we are working to limit our effect on the planet is because we are pouring jet-fuel on the fire of global change. Eventually the planet will be uninhabitable, but if the change happens naturally, then that will not be for millions of year- a time period that makes the apes seem like not-so-distant cousins. That is why this is not just an environmental issue, it is a humanity and every-other-living-organism issue! The rest will adapt, but we should try to get a little more shelf-life out of the comfy state of the planet we have now.

20 February 2007

Bates Energy Action Movement

We have started a Student Climate Movement at Bates call Bates Energy Action Movement. We are working to make Bates College Carbon Neutral and a leader in the clmiate movement. Also we are joing the national student climate movement. It is all very exciting. This issue is our generations Vietnam. We need to Step It Up! NOW and I encourage everyone to get involved. There is lots of information at the BEAM blog or you can email me at jmurphy3@bates.edu

"The Bates Energy Action Movement is a movement at Bates College dedicated to
taking direct action to fight anthropogenic global climate change by promoting Carbon Neutrality at Bates and direct political participation."

I have been devoting most of my time to the Bates Energy Action Movement (BEAM). Please check out the BEAM blog.